Create an Antihero

We deliver thought-provoking, theoretical and conceptual information each session, but an important part of building your skills involves doing. Every Session you’re invited to take part in a community project, and in so doing build your skills. Regardless of your experience level, it’s a great chance to expand your portfolio, and get feedback from your peers.

Take the knowledge that you gain throughout this session and apply what you learn. Post your project in the comments below. We’ve set up the comments so that image URLs can be added. Be sure to leave your thoughts and insightful critique of the work posted, which will help everyone improve their work. We’ll be selecting a handful of prominent projects to promote in our final day Session Wrap, so be sure to submit your project before April 22nd for consideration.

Creative Session 1 – Project Brief

In this session’s project the brief is to create a character that defies traditional classifications. Construct a great antihero, whether you create a caffeine addicted turtle, or imbue a cute marshmallow with evil genius; it’s up to you. Mix and match happy and sad characteristics to create a unique personality for your character. Push opposing internal forces against each other.

Whether it’s a true antihero or just an interesting character filled with conflicting emotions is up to you. You want your character to be likable though, right? So, a careful balance of personality and concepts will need to be applied here. Push passed preconceived notions and make a truly unique character. Get to it!

Style and Format

There is no limit in style. We look forward to seeing a wide mix of approaches. Here are some possibilities though:

  • You could draw or paint the character and just scan it in.
  • Create a polished vector character in Illustrator.
  • Pull out your Wacom and paint a character in Photoshop.
  • Jump into Poser and craft a 3D character.

Final format on this project is really open. We’d like to see final art as 600 pixel wide JPG or larger though. Also, include a character backstory, as the story and personality are often just as important as the rendered character.

Skill Building

Not only does this project build your skills with crafting a character, refining your process, and mastering your craft, but it will get you thinking about character personality. An important part of this project is thinking about what makes your character interesting. What quirky moments would describe your character’s life? What physiological mix is stirring in your character’s brain?


I’m sure everyone has their favorite cartoon characters. Analyze what you love about those characters? Of those character’s you love, which ones are more complex, quirky, and mix both positive and negative traits into a wonderful stew. I think Hello Kitty would be much more interesting if she consistently fought the urge to eat her young. Or as you’ll see Von Glitchka depict in this session, the anit-mickey, anyone for a classic knife wielding mouse? We’ll also see Sascha Pruess depict a visual formula for making cute characters, which she’s applied to the cutest militia on the planet in the Bubble Army.

Feedback and Positive Criticism

It’s just as important to leave helpful tips, suggestions, and positive criticism of your peers’ work, as it is to complete the assigned project. We’re looking to create something much like in illustration or design class, where you post your work up on a board (in this case, the comments are the board) and everyone can critique the work.

Keep in mind that professional decorum, insightful opinions, and positive suggestions will be appreciated by all. I look forward to building this community, participating in the discussions, and the projects as well. Now let’s get to work on our character designs, and post some work for review below.


  1. Andreas Galster says:

    Great! I’ll take this as an oppoturnity to learn drawing! I hope people won’t flame me until death for my horrible drawing skills ;)!

  2. johnmil says:

    Bwahaha, I have no idea what I’m doing.

    This is my happy little stormcloud antihero(not really, just a mix of happy/sad). Once a miserable, dark, ominous shape looming in the sky, but not anymoar.

  3. Pablohernan says:

    Excellent idea, will try to learn to draw … and English. Greetings from Argentina. Antihero´s to the rescue!!

  4. Luke says:


    This is my first attempt at illustrating a fictional character so please be easy on me!

    The Story:

    Goats seem innocent, but they have an evil side. They draw you in with there cute little horns, but when you least expect it, they…

    • Megan Cadena says:

      Excellent subject! Have you ever see what goat eyes look like? They’ve got those evil looking pupils that are demonic looking. Finally someone understands just how evil goats are!

    • Rebecca says:

      I like him! I think he has the cute, but mischievous thing going. A goat you shouldn’t turn your back on. :)

    • QarlosJo says:

      Goo Job. I’ll try to think something out!!!

  5. Alessandra says:

    Wonderful idea! I think I’ll love this new tuts+ site! I’ll try to draw something nice :)

  6. what_the_hell.jpg

    Heh…made this one for an avatar about a year ago, hope you like it :)

    Creative sessions WOOHOO! / / /

  7. alex smith says:

    can anyone tell me how to turn off that !@#% illustrator “you missed the anchor point” beep.
    it makes me want to throw my computer out the window.

  8. alex smith says:


    first pass.
    comments please.

  9. Corinne says:

    If anybody needs help coming up with a character, I found this character design worksheet via Google:

    It’s a PDF document:

  10. alex smith says:

    will this be the forum for all posts for review?

  11. Jamal Hansen says:

    Took a shot at my own anti-hero. Drawn on an index card with pen and colored pencil. I tried to add enough to the image so that you could make your own “heroic” back story for the blue monster guy.

    I’d post him up here, but the add image script keeps telling me it’s not a valid image. You can see it at:

  12. alex smith says:

    does it often take long to get approved?
    is there a bug?
    will I get a notice as to why my message hasn’t be allowed

  13. Jacob Halton says:

    The only heroes I find interesting ARE anti-heroes. I’ve been working on this character for a while so had to post.


    This is my character, simply “Crow”. He lives in a futuristic, factory-city (think fritz lang’s Metropolis) in which the citizens go only from their living quarters to work and home. This city builds war machines and other bad stuff.
    He is a machine designed to kill, but by doing so, ends up thwarting the evil dictator/factory-city foreman’s plans that would have brought harm to his citizens/employees….on the other hand, when low on fuel, Crow eats these same employees on their way between their living areas and assigned factories.

    See his comics at:

    The text (a little too small here) says:
    [Broken Wings]

    [Damaged Circuitry]
    “Spacey Look”

    Wings shift down for flight (Should retract, but are broken)

    Fueled by organic plasma, human blood. Designed as a killing tool, but was secretly programmed to complete a more noble, higher task…..

    Legs fold up and hug torso, become propulsion mechanism

    Weapons, become bird “feet” during flight

  14. Maritsky says:

    This is Murky the magpie.
    Like any magpie he likes to steal shiny stuff,
    he just takes it one step further and sells it to the highest bidder.


  15. Loay Emad says:

    I don’t Understand. What is Antihero ?
    i want to participate so please could someone explain ?

  16. Paul Ehrenreich says:

    Man there is some really talented sketches so far. For once this is giving me the itch to bust out the sketch book and come up with something!

  17. Marc Madill says:

    I got a couple of ideas for possible antiheroes, my favoured option being some sort of Ninja Lemming..

    hopefully I’ll pick up enough skills to put something together..

  18. Jenneke says:


    I created this character as part of my short that I never got to finish. Short description of the character:

    Name: Ameno
    Race : Baku
    Gender : Male
    Age : Unknown
    Height : 72 cm
    Weight : 40 kg
    Place of birth : Dreamland
    Favorite food : Nightmares, demons, monsters
    Hobby : Fly around
    Biggest fear : Not able to help kids with nightmares
    Weapon: extendable tongue

    Other : Ameno lives in Dreamland. His job is to eat nightmares from children and make them into sweet dreams. He’s the smallest Baku in Dreamland. He has to proof himself and show that he’s capable to protect the children from nightmares. Ameno is playful and likes to fly through the fluffy clouds in Dreamland.

    • Jenneke says:

      Something went wrong with the extra info:

      Other : Ameno lives in Dreamland. His job is to eat nightmares from children and make them into sweet dreams. He’s the smallest Baku in Dreamland. He has to proof himself and show that he’s capable to protect the children from nightmares. Ameno is playful and likes to fly through the fluffy clouds in

    • Sean Hodge says:

      Great to see multiple poses.

  19. Rebecca says:

    I’ve been slowly teaching myself to draw, but I’m a writer first. (I’m actually trying to teach myself to draw/illustrate so I can eventually draw for my own writing.) I took the reluctant hero approach to the anti-hero. She’s trying to figure out how she got dragged into the situation she is now expected to fix…against her will.


  20. Ali Hussain says:

    Is is necessary i add color to it? I have a great idea creeping up my mind, i hope i could put it up on paper :)

  21. MIGUEL AMEZ says:


    this is my character is called match is a guy who likes their arson fire always causes problems from which to be rejected by the society is helping people with their powers
    born when a meteor fell in the middle of the rock was (very superman jajaja)
    hot boy accidentally from their belching fire did their parents with problems

    His greatest desire is to be a fireman …

  22. MIGUEL AMEZ says:


    this picture is better

  23. Ajith R says:


    This is my character- “Chekutan”!!!

  24. Sean Hodge says:


    This is a cute little devil character I drew today. I was working on making an evil character that looks cute. I don’t have a story or name for him yet – need to let it percolate a bit.

  25. creative session ———– woo, I love the way you teach / educate people to go beyond their imaginations and stay one step ahead in creative field of arts & design.

  26. Leo Rogers says:


    I recently just finished my online portfolio and wanted to try and break out from the norm, showcase some of the serious clients Ive had but also show that I have illustrative capabilities too. I had a basic logo for a company wayyyyyy back in uni – titan designs, and while that actually had a titan as part of the logo, it sucked :-)

    With a lifestyle change AND the recent film coming out, it inspired me to try it right and use the experience I had gained to do a logo that was specific to the company, but not layered in fancy doodles, but then add those fancy doodles to the design of the site to stand out.

    Then I found this great resource and it all clicked – what better anti-heroes than the gods and titans themselves? Left to judge mortals and wage eternal wars for their own beliefs, some praise them, others fear them.

    Ive taken captures of the designs from the site itself, not sure if I can link to the site so you can see them in full effect, but do a search and hopefully it comes up :-)

    Ive always been passionate about illustrations and characters, not always the best when it comes to anatomy so use a lot of reference material, but I think this is a great resource guys really!

    In case the link doesnt appear, you can see the characters here:

  27. Leo Rogers says:

    Oh, I didnt realise, you can click my name and it takes you to the real site (sorry, but I just checked and that one ISNT mine I assure you ;-))

  28. Her name is Glass Woman. She’s basically the most pointless super hero ever. She has the ability to turn herself into glass which makes her even more vulnerable to attacks. She also can’t move while in glass form, adding to her vulnerability. She still tries to fight crime, though. We’ll see how long she lasts with a super power like that. :-P Glass_Woman.jpg

    • Sorry the text got scrunched. Here’s what I wrote:

      “Her name is Glass Woman. She’s basically the most pointless super hero ever. She has the ability to turn herself into glass which makes her even more vulnerable to attacks. She also can’t move while in glass form, adding to her vulnerability. She still tries to fight crime, though. We’ll see how long she lasts with a super power like that. :-P”

  29. humanbuster.jpg

    HumanBuster’s history goes like this: He lived in Penny Lane, a city filled with strange beings, and his job was to hunt human that accidently got into the city. But one day, doing his route, he accidently got out of city. The problem was that Penny Lane is magical city, and to go back is almost impossible. But I said ALMOST. In HumanBuster’s case he had to kill the entire human kind before stepping into the city again.

  30. Tracy Jones says:

    This is Temperance Slug. He expounds the evils of drinking to everyone he meets. But what people may not realize is that Mr. Slug is battling his own inner demons – he can’t pass up a dish of beer in the garden.

  31. Diana says:

    April 22nd? :/ I wish I could have more time to submit my character :P


  32. Juan says:

    I started my participation on creative sesssions, trying to develop something valuable. I hope you like and, of course, I’ll be glad to receive any suggestions or comments.


  33. Diana says:

    Can I still send my character? :)

  34. Tyler says:

    So some kind of caveman-hero-guy. Not a preferable hero to call such as batman, but he gets the job done.

    And I know the deadline’s over, but why not.

  35. ne says:

    Look cute but will BURN the kitchen later… ha ha ha

  36. J Stone says:

    Here’s a character I’ve been working on for a few months now for a clothing line I’m trying to start. I just happened onto this page and think he’s perfect for it.

    The Evil Bunny.



  37. gorilla_tooth_display.png

    Hand Drawn-Digitally Painted.

  38. Luk says:

    I know that it is after the deadline, but I’ll post my “antihero” anyway :)
    It is my little studio (“Another way”) mascot and here is his description:

    “It is Bivius. His name is derived from Latin and means ‘two ways.’

    Bivius arose form the sea of ideas. Ever since his birth he is running around our studio and getting into mischief, but all in all we find him very helpful. Thanks to his magical powers, Bivius is able to come up with unconventional ideas. They inspire us to create new solutions which reach a wider audience.

    His presence makes every day a new adventure. ”




  39. Anwar Fakih says:

    This image shows an old stressed out, thought beautiful.

    Software: Photoshop CS5

  40. Mitchell says:

    If anyone is having a difficult time with a concept maybe this site can help get you started.